Lead regulation compliance summary


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A comprehensive review of lead regulations for landlords, homeowners and contractors

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Lead regulation compliance summary

  1. 1. asbestos·lead paint·moldTri-Tech Building Hygiene Services23841 RepublicOak Park, Michigan 48237Freelance.enviro.tech@gmail.com248.721.8574Re: Compliance with Lead RegulationsTo help you navigate the morass of regulatory requirements, this summary of Lead-Based Paintregulations is provided courtesy of Tri-Tech Building Hygiene Services.Disclosures and Right-to-Know RegulationsMost rental property owners are familiar with the disclosure requirements for Lead-Based Paintrelated to leasing and renovations. In both cases, this involves providing an EPA pamphlet anddocumenting receipt by the unit occupant. There is an additional disclosure pertaining to sale ofproperty. Finally, there is a disclosure requirement to your employees for working around lead-based paint. These disclosures should be documented with signed forms.Testing For OccupancyThe City of Detroit is one of the few cities in the country requiring a full lead inspection andclearance. Most of the others are located on the East Coast. Lead testing is sometimes requiredfor landlord rental property insurance. Landlords may optionally conduct the testing to obtaincivil liability protection (see Allen v. Dackman 991 A.2d 1216 2010 where a Maryland Court ofAppeals held a passive investor of an LLC liable for a child lead poisoning). Many cities havelead paint requirements in their building codes (e.g. Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Pontiac) butthese regulations are typically poorly worded and generally unenforceable except in the mostsevere conditions.Testing For RenovationThe EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule require certified Lead Renovators for workdisturbing LBP exceeding 6 square feet per interior room or 10 square feet of exterior paint. Pre-1978 paint is assumed to contain lead unless tested. An owner may opt to test for lead since anegative result may save 10-25% of the cost if Lead-Safe practices are not required. Somerenovators may be willing to do the testing for you. However, renovator swab testing is moreconservative and may result in false positives compared to more accurate testing performed by aprofessional Lead Inspector.RRP does not apply to renovation not performed for compensation. Therefore, owners ofresidential property that do the work themselves are exempt from the training requirement.Testing paint using chemical swabs without the EPA Renovator training is being interpreted asnon-compliance with the RRP regulation.“Providing Commercial-Grade Indoor Environmental Testing Services on a Residential budget”
  2. 2. Lead Compliance Summary August 26, 2011 Page 2EnforcementThe fines for RRP non-compliance are $37,500 per day. EPA has authorized nine states toadminister their own RRP programs: Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina,Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and Wisconsin. Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio have similar rules of theirown. EPA has begun regional compliance audits in Western and Northern Michigan incooperation with the State and it is anticipated that southeast Michigan will be targeted in thefuture.AbatementAbatement refers to intentionally taking out lead paint or installing specialized controls. Thisoption involves workers with an advanced level of lead training and is intended for workperformed to address severe lead hazards or removal of lead paint for the sole purpose of makingsomething lead free. This work typically must be done by a professional lead abatement firm andis a minimum two-person project with advanced controls. As such, "lead abatement" is tooexpensive to be a practical option and should not be performed unless there is a substantialfinancial advantage to removing lead paint from components to make a space lead-free. To avoidconducting lead work illegally as an abatement project, make sure all work is properly scopedout as a housekeeping, maintenance or renovation project. Encapsulation refers to a specializedabatement process and product and requires an EPA license to use. Do not confuse encapsulationwith re-painting and avoid using the word encapsulate in your records.Lead Hazard ControlWhere interior dust hazards are present, HEPA vacuuming of carpet or wet-wiping of surfacesshould be performed to remove paint and dust in the vicinity of the damage area. A cleaningprotocol for lead dust and paint chip hazards can be found athttp://www.mich.gov/documents/Lead_Cleaning_Guide_84606_7.pdf.According to Michigan regulations, personnel performing non-abatement lead hazard controlwork must have successfully completed an 8-hour HUD-approved lead safe work practicestraining course for such work. If you choose to use your own personnel, they should be properlytrained and protected. However, Tri-Tech, serving in the contractual role of Lead Inspector/RiskAssessor, is not required to document training and compliance with regulations pertaining tocorrection action. However, the following is offered for your information:Training and Certification RequirementsThe basic levels of lead regulation compliance and training can be summarized as follows:OSHA Right-to-KnowUnder Michigan R 325.51949, cleaning and maintenance workers that do not contact lead paintare required to be provided with Appendix A and B of the OSHA Lead Standard.“Providing Commercial-Grade Indoor Environmental Testing Services on a Residential Budget”
  3. 3. Lead Compliance Summary August 26, 2011 Page 3OSHA Lead AwarenessThis two-hour class is intended to impart personnel that disturb lead paint and other leadexposure hazards with a basic understanding and respect for lead in the workplace. The basicintent is inform workers when they could potentially be exposed to lead and to prevent themfrom engaging in activities that pose a lead exposure risk without the proper training, controlsand protective equipment (as would be prescribed for Lead Hazard Control or Renovationbelow). This class must be refreshed annually and is typically $75-100 per person.Lead Hazard ControlThis eight-hour class is intended to provide personnel with the basic training to perform lead-safecorrective actions such as lead dust cleaning and "small-scale short-duration" paint repairs(below the 6 square foot interior/10 square foot exterior RRP threshold). The refresher cycle forthis training is not specified by the regulations. Some would interpret this as the training is validforever and some interpret it as up to the employer how often employees should be re-trained.This class is typically $100-150 per person.Lead RenovatorThe eight-hour EPA Lead Renovator class and certification covers “lead safe work practices” forlarge scale renovation, painting and repair actions in compliance with the EPA RRP Rule.Renovations that incidentally address a hazard or remove lead paint may be performed by Lead-certified renovators. Lead Renovator training is typically about $150-200 per person and is goodfor five years.Lead SupervisorThis option permits untrained/non-certified personnel to do hazard control work if supervisedand directed by a Lead Supervisor. The 3-day Supervisor course and associated fees willgenerally total about $700 to get one person certified. This may be a cost effective option if youhave a key maintenance supervisor with at least two years of building experience that supervisesa number of maintenance workers and buildings.Lead Abatement Worker/Supervisor (outsourced)This option involves outsourcing all lead related work to a professional lead abatement firm.While generally more expensive, this option may be appropriate based on the convenience andthe ability to quickly address small lead concerns without concerns for compliance or liability.Respiratory Equipment TrainingDry sweeping, dry sanding/scraping, torch cutting, manual demolition and similar aggressivedisturbances of lead and paint trigger additional OSHA regulations pertaining to air monitoringand respirator usage and should be avoided. There is no minimum disturbance threshold for theseactivities so it is up to the employer to what determine what size very small projects may beconducted without respirator usage. Since projects under 2 square feet of paint disturbance areexempt from tenant disclosure, this is probably a reasonable guideline. Employers are required to“Providing Commercial-Grade Indoor Environmental Testing Services on a Residential Budget”
  4. 4. Lead Compliance Summary August 26, 2011 Page 4provide respirators for optional/voluntary usage by workers if requested at no cost to theemployee.Intact removals and blotting of loose paint with an adhesive material may be consideredpermissible activities under OSHA regulations since they are not explicitly listed in the list oftasks covered by Lead Regulations.Air MonitoringIt is left up to the employers judgment whether air monitoring and respiratory protection isrequired. This regulation makes the questionable assumption that employers will have technicalworking knowledge of exposure levels associated with various employee lead-related workactivities. The following is offered for general guidance to guide the employers judgment:A half-face respirator is generally considered acceptable protection for manual demolition,scraping and sanding or use of a heat gun, exposure levels of which studies have shown aregenerally below 500 ug/m3. A half-face respirator provides a tenfold protection factor equating toan 8-hour exposure that would therefore not exceed 50 ug/m3, which is the (maximum)Permissible Exposure Limit. Assuming a worker performs these activities totally unprotected (norespirator) for one half hour (1/16th of 8 hrs) and has no other lead exposure, their overallexposure equals the OSHA action limit of 30 ug/m3 (500/16=31). Therefore, as a general rule ofthumb, similar lead disturbance tasks kept under 30 minutes per day would likely comply withOSHA limits. If there is other incidental lead exposure expected throughout the day, it would bebest to limit activities to about 15 minutes. However, this is offered as general guidance andthere is no assurance an OSHA inspector would accept these theoretical projections withoutsupporting air data.SummarySo what can my workers do without any training and personal protection controls? Strictlyspeaking, almost nothing besides general cleaning that doesn’t disturb lead paint or dust. Wetmopping is prohibited on surfaces that contain lead dust because lead-contaminated mop water isnot permitted to be discharged to the sanitary sewer system. Damp-mopping and wiping andHEPA vacuuming is acceptable. As noted above, projects under 2 square feet are exempt fromtenant disclosure and therefore it could be asserted that projects disturbing less than 2 square feetof paint are de minimis and therefore exempt from all regulation.Intact component removals and blotting of loose paint with an adhesive material may beconsidered unregulated activities under OSHA regulations since they are not explicitly listed inthe list of tasks covered by Lead Regulations.“Providing Commercial-Grade Indoor Environmental Testing Services on a Residential Budget”